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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Learning about online sexual harm


This research was commissioned by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (the Inquiry),[1] as part of its investigation into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and exploitation facilitated by the internet. It was a small-scale, mixed-methods study which aimed to explore children’s and young people’s perspectives on:

  • being online;
  • risks of online sexual harm;
  • education received about online sexual harm within state school settings;
  • how such education could be improved; and
  • what else should be done to better protect children and young people from online sexual harm.



  1. The Inquiry was established in 2015 to consider the extent to which state and non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales. The Inquiry makes recommendations for change to help ensure that children are better protected from sexual abuse, both now and in the future.
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